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You Had Me At Merlot: 5 Tips for Surviving Winter

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Outfit Details: Velvet Dress | So Kate Heels | Lauren Conrad Bow Tie (old) Similar here | Similar White House Black Market Coat | Similar Leopard Clutch | Kendra Scott Bracelets (layering the gold and rose gold bracelets) | Nars Lipstick: Afghan Red

You had me a merlot…I once saw that on a t-shirt, one I probably should have bought because well merlot is delicious and I have a shopping problem. Anyway, this deep, burgundy merlot shade is my absolute favorite color to wear when the temperatures start dipping. Like literally the second the thermostat reads anything below 50, I put on all my clothes that resemble the ‘red wine’ shade and prance around in excitement.

Usually I would prance around in these burgundy, velvet pants, but I just recently ordered this dress from Amazon (yes, you read that correctly – Amazon) and how beautiful – right?!!!!! The velvet is so luxurious (and warm!) and as I mentioned already, it’s my favorite winter color!

Dressing for Winter (at least here in Chicago) is always a challenge. The temps are brutal most days and so I always look for new ways to look and feel stylish despite how cold and miserable it can be. Here are my top 5 tips for surviving winter:

1. Wear layers

This one is obvious, but it’s a must. I like to start with turtlenecks under button downs, or button downs under sweaters. Adding an extra layer with a puffer vest is always a solid win in my book too!

2. Dress when you get to where you’re going

I’ve done this so many times – especially if I’m wearing a dress. I just carry a tote bag as my handbag for that day, and I something warm (like pants and a sweater) and then change into my real outfit (like a dress) when I get where I’m going.

3. Invest in a cute coat

I’m in a coat every day for more than half the year, so investing in a nice coat is a no brainer. I have a couple staples – my new every day, commuting coat and then my cute, not trying to stay the warmest but want to look fashionable coat.  

4. Wear heavier/warm fabrics

Duh, right?! In winter, I trade in my silks and sheers for heavy wools and fabrics with weight like velvet and knit sweaters. 

5. Fuel your body from the inside, out

Warm tea, coffee, hot chocolate or Merlot (especially Merlot!) keeps me warm from the inside, out on the chilly winter days.

How do you stay warm in winter? Share your tips below!

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New Year, New Start

2017 was a roller coaster for me. Sure, there were some very high ‘highs’ for me, with my wedding and Beckett being born, both this year. But there isn’t much else in the way of positivity that I can say for 2017. It was the toughest year I’ve faced, with lots of struggle and stress and when the clock strikes midnight and we ring in 2018, I may shed a tear or two for surviving the last year.

It’s no surprise that I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. I’ve said it before, but since having Beckett I’ve struggled to find the balance between being a parent, being a full-time employee and finding time to blog. Personally, I’ve missed my interactions with you guys, especially considering writing in general is very therapeutic for me, so I’m really working to find the perfect balance so I can get back to a little normalcy. Matter of fact, putting more of a focus on my hobbies and things I love (aside from family) is among the top of my resolutions for 2018. You can take a look at my list below and feel free to comment with some goals of your own!

1. Find time for things I love
In 2018, I am dedicated to finding the time to devote to hobbies and things I love (such as blogging, and writing in general)

2. Be a better wife
I could (and probably will) list this at the top of my resolutions every year, because I think we should all, always be striving to be a great spouse.

3. Take better care of my skin
In 2017, I was pretty much just surviving, not thriving. I spent a vast majority of the year pregnant or dealing with post pregnancy hormones and my skin has taken a toll from as a result. In 2018, I was to put an emphasis on taking care of my skin both on the inside and out.

4. Eat better
I’ve noticed since having a baby that my metabolism isn’t what it once was, and thus it’s time for me to start putting more thought into the things I’m eating. I want to eat cleaner, healthier meals and I want to start eating at home more frequently.

5. Quit comparisons
Nothing puts a damper on your confidence and happiness than comparing yourself and your life to others. It’s exhausting to always wish you were better, taller, prettier, thinner, heavier, richer, smarter, etc. In 2018, I will be content!

There are plenty of other smaller goals I have for 2018, but these five resolutions will take precedence in the year. So with that said, that’s a wrap on my blog for 2017 and I will be back in 2018 guns a blazin’!

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Extra, Extra, Read All About It: The Newsette!

Since becoming a mom, I feel like I’m constantly operating on borrowed time (more on that here). The older Beckett gets, the less time I feel I have to do everyday ‘normal’ activities. Things like taking a bath (HA!) or reading the news are just time consuming and time that I either don’t have or time I’d rather spend playing with my child. And the more of myself I find giving my child, the less I can identify with the girl (I’m 30 years old, can I call myself a woman yet?!) that I once was.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not considering my lack of self-identity as a bad thing. I had a child and my life turned upside down…and that’s okay! I am still working to find my new ‘mom’ identity, so long as it doesn’t include wearing mom jeans. 🙂

So with the search for my new identity comes a focus on things that are quick: quick meals, quick workouts, quick conversations – QUICK QUICK QUICK!  Enter in – The Newsette.

I was introduced to this lovely newsletter a couple of months ago. The Newsette promises everything you want to read in the A.M. all in one place. That’s a pretty bold claim! I figured I would give this new relationship a trial run and assumed we’d break up in a day or two when the newsletter wasn’t living up to its claim. And yet, here we are a few months later and I’m writing a blog post about it! Silly me.

Sure enough, every morning a delightful and QUICK (it’s the common theme!) email arrives in my inbox, full of current news, inspiration and motivation. Most of the time, I can finish the email before finishing my coffee. #Win

So imagine my excitement when The Newsette launched their new website! Now if I find myself with a little extra time (mostly on days I train into the city for work), I can head straight to their website for an extra dose of positivity and inspiration. Don’t believe me, watch this interview with Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox and tell me you’re not motivated!

So in an effort to live by my motto (quick!) I’ll stop rambling about my love affair with The Newsette and encourage each of you to take a peak around their new website and be sure to sign up for the newsletter by clicking here!

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Seeing Spots

I am not typically someone who wears a lot of pattern. Not that I don’t like it, because I actually love pattern mixing. It’s just that patterns typically come on fabric that I just don’t like wearing. I know, that sounds completely ridiculous, but there are some fabrics that I just can’t stand the way they feel on my skin (I cannot be the only one?!). I’ve been pushing myself lately to quit being so dramatic and to learn to appreciate and incorporate more pattern into my wardrobe and it’s been a challenge, but I’m getting there.

This spotted dress was one of my first conscious purchases toward incorporating more print. It has sat in my closet for a while now, but I finally put it on and wore it outside of the house last week (I can change outfits like 5 times before I leave the house lol). I have to say that I really fell in love with print after wearing this. Something about the bold contrast between the spots against the white background, with a cute little bootie and leather bomber jacket and I just felt like a hip, cool mom (I said felt…not am :)).

With Black Friday coming up, I’m hoping to consciously add a few more pattern pieces to my closet. I really have my eye on this shirt, this jumpsuit and this dress, but Joe has put me on a strict budget after I spent a little too much money on making sure the Christmas tree we put in Beckett’s room this year is perfect. Oops! If you want to see her little princess tree, check out my Instagram 🙂

Do you have any fashion fears or things you avoid when shopping? Comment below and we will get through this together!

Outfit Details

Dress; H&M (old) – similar here

Shoes; Steve Madden

Jacket; Marshalls – similar here

Bracelet; Kendra Scott

Purse; Valentino (old) – similar here

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9 Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without & 4 I’m Dying to Try

Not that I was ever all that great at consistently updating my blog, but since becoming a parent, I’m really struggling to find that balance of working full-time, parenting full-time and blogging – oh and resting sometime in between! Not to mention, poor Beckett has had a cold that’s been lingering like a bad habit and has now developed into the saddest little ‘help me momma’ cough. ANNNNDD when she doesn’t feel well, the only thing that cheers her up are snuggles which has ultimately led to Joe and I both being sick as well. The Venti household could use a break right now…or a vacation. I’d take either.Nevertheless, with all the sickness my skin has been looking a little ‘meh’ lately, which has me in a frenzy about my skincare and beauty routines right now. I’ve been scouring websites and blogs looking for new and old cult favorites to see if there are any products I can add to my routine that I might love. That said, I realized I haven’t really shared any of my favorites with you all – so without further ado:

I use this on my lips constantly…I’ve always had very dry lips that no amount of hydration and water consumption resolves. I’ve tried every chapstick under the sun and the only thing that ever hydrates my lips is Aquaphor. But not just any Aquaphor…the giant tub of it. Don’t ask me why, but it’s different than the lip repair and it works better!

Joe (and Beckett) got me this for Mother’s Day this year..had I not had my eye on it for so long, I might have taken offense to my husband buying me a device to get rid of wrinkles, but truthfully, this is the bees knees. I use it a couple times of week, and I can tell such a big difference in my skin since May. It’s a little pricey, but worth every penny!

I’ve been using this mascara religiously since I was probably 19 or 20. I’ve tried a ton of different mascaras and I always resort back to old faithful. I love the bigger wand because it really gets in there and covers all my lashes. I have naturally blonde (meaning nonexistent) lashes, so without mascara I look like a 12 year old. I love this stuff! I’ve also recently been using this mascara and I’ve become quite fond of layering it with Buxom Lashes!

I was introduced to this brand when my sister in law had her first son. She swore by the soap and lotion for him and started using it herself. Then my mother in law started using it and then I got pregnant, so I started using it. Yes, it’s baby lotion – but it so soothing and smells so clean and I can’t get enough!

This was an investment piece for me…growing up, I always used drugstore hair dryers way beyond their expiration date and my hair really suffered because of it. I have naturally medium-thick hair that is usually very long (I cut it all off after my wedding!) and can be a real pain to dry. After my last Conair hair dryer croaked, I caved and treated myself to DryBar’s Buttercup Hair Dryer. Not only has it sped up my drying time (which is clutch because I frankly don’t have 25 minutes to stand in front of a mirror drying my hair anymore), but my hair is so much healthier and manageable.

I think I went out and bought this concealer after reading an article that Kim Kardashian used it – afterall her makeup looks nice, right? Whatever the reason, I love this concealer. It hides the dark ‘I’m a mom’ circles under my eyes, and can be used as a highlighter to sort of contour my face. It doesn’t crease, and the color Custard is universally flattering!

I wouldn’t call this my signature scent (that spot will always be reserved for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle), but I bought this last year and it is hands down one of my favorite perfumes to date. I’m not quite sure how to describe the scent, but it makes me feel powerful and classy when I wear it and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want that little extra boost of female BOSS!
I was originally introduced to this brand via a sample at Sephora a few years ago. I was struggling with some acne after moving to Chicago and my skin just couldn’t adjust. I used the sample twice and already my skin was that of an angel. I immediately went out and bought the full-size and have been using it ever since! I’ll admit, I find washing it off to just been a pain, but your skin will thank you!
With blonde lashes comes blonde eyebrows, which truly stinks in a world of full on fleek brows! It also stinks when it comes time to look for a pencil or powder to fill them in. I’ve experimented with a lot of different products in the arena, and was never truly SOLD on any until I came across the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Pencil. It’s convenient, looks natural and it lasts forever.

ANNNDD, here are 4 products that I’m considering trying, so feel free to comment below if you use(d) any of these, why you love it, why you don’t, etc.

I’ve been on the hunt for a new face wash for a few months now. I’m currently using this and while I love it, I really dislike the packaging. If it came with a pump, this would be a whole different discussion, but I can be quite a picky individual and despite checking most the boxes, it’s just not a perfect 10 for me. I’ve read so many great things on the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser, but I’ve been hesitant to try it because I’m leery of falling in love with something that I can only get at Sephora.

In a world of Kylie Jenner lips, everyone is on the quest for the perfect pout – myself included. I kept seeing this pop up in Instagram posts so I did a little digging and I must say – I’m intrigued. It has pretty good reviews, but it’s a little pricey and I’m not quite convinced it’s worth the investment. If you’ve tried this product, please leave a comment below and let me know how it is!
Now that I’m a mother and I’m running on borrowed time, I’ve found myself wanting to simplify my makeup routine. I’ve always been a liquid foundation wearer, and I have no complaints. I love the look and feel of liquid makeup and am simply looking to see if this powder can achieve a similar look in a fraction of the time.

I can’t say I know anything about this product, but I can tell you that it is EVERYWHERE right now and has phenomenal reviews. This may be the first of these 4 products to get purchased 🙂

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